Lion’s Heart Volume I: Tori Flores

Life of a Slave

I grab my heavy, bloody butcher knife and take a whack at the pig’s feet. Blood splatters everywhere all over my apron and dirt flying up at my face and hair; the smell is nauseating. At least I get filling food and health care. This job feels like an endless cycle of dirty work. I wouldn’t be in this position if I didn’t make the same careless mistake twice.

On a warm sunny afternoon I headed to the next town to visit my family. I hadn’t seen them in so long, since I married my husband. While on my journey an officer approached me. His black hair was slicked back, his face freshly shaven, and his clothes had just been ironed. I prayed he wouldn’t stop me. I forgot my passport near the front door before I left my house. His eyebrow rose as he passed me. “Stop now!” he shouted at me. My heart paused, I held my breath and slowly turned around. He turned on his flashlight and aimed it at my face. “Passport ma’am?” My whole body went numb. All I could do was shake my head no. I felt a small teardrop running down my cheek.

“Enough with the tears. If I catch you out here again illegally, I will make sure myself you become a slave.” He left me with that, a threat. My mind felt released but my body was still frozen from the nerves.

About 3 years passed smoothly; no more incidents, 3 fresh children, and a great job. The day everything got taken away from me was devastating; I lost my family, job, and respect. I ventured out of my town, but only to visit my family again. I left at dusk with the moon the size of a quarter. I could hear something moving down the road. Assuming it was small animals or other villagers, I continued on my way. I tried to stay alert, but given the hour I felt exhausted. I stopped, sat on a stump on the side of the road and began dozing off into a dream. I slowly woke up shivering; my bare, pale skin felt like ice. I could barely move my rigid fingers. My wrists and ankles felt heavy. I felt damp grass beneath me. I sat up and realized I was lying in a field. Gold chains hung around my bare wrists and ankles. There was a piece of paper lying on my chest; it read, “I told you once, I keep my word, signed Officer Lenny.” I did have my passport in my pocket, but it was expired. My owner told me my job is to butcher their meat, so that is all I’ve done since then whack my bloody, butcher knife day by day. I am enslaved. I will never forget the day everything got taken away from me.